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Cleveland Clergy Alliance Partnership

4/5/2019


Media contacts:
Kathie Sizemore: (216) 881-4413, kathleen.sizemore@jfs.ohio.gov
Mary Louise Madigan: (216) 698-2521, MLMadigan@cuyahogacounty.us


New Church Navigator Program seeks to connect seniors with services

CLEVELAND - The Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services is partnering with the Cleveland Clergy Alliance to launch a new program to connect seniors with County services. An unveiling of the partnership was held last Friday at St. Aloysius Church in Cleveland.

The collaboration, funded through the County’s Health and Human Services Levy, will deploy church ‘navigators’ to connect seniors in need to services such as: health care benefits; property tax and prescription drug discounts; home energy, food and housing assistance; and legal and employment services.

“One of the County’s top priorities is to ensure all residents are safe, supported and able to care for themselves,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “The new church navigator program will help connect seniors to services that are already available to them to help meet their immediate needs.”

The Cleveland Clergy Alliance is a non-profit organization that serves as a hub for faith-based community engagement. Chief Executive Officer Reverend Lorenzo Norris expressed his pride in the new program by saying, “We are coming together to make the City of Cleveland and the County senior friendly.”

The program originated in 2015, when the partners conducted a need assessment among seniors in their congregations and identified that many of them were not aware of services available to them or how to access them. The partners determined that the best way to reach the seniors was in their homes and at their houses of worship, since they did not frequent senior centers or other venues due to transportation issues.

Jacquelyn Adams, the program’s outreach administrator, will lead a team of ten navigators from churches throughout the County, as they reach out to seniors in their communities. “The navigators are community members who are trained in the issues of aging and the resources available,” Adams explained. “Their role is to help the seniors identify needs and connect with the right resources.”

The program will initially fund 10 part-time navigators, as well as training and administration of the program. There is also funding allocated for social activities to prevent social isolation, such as outings to community and sporting events.

“We are thrilled to have this partnership with the Cleveland Clergy Alliance. The population of seniors is growing rapidly, and we must build strong community partnerships to preserve their independence. This project will connect seniors to vital public health services and other community resources to improve their health and well-being,” said Tracey N. Mason, Administrator for the Division of Senior and Adult Services.

For information about the Cleveland Clergy Alliance Navigator Program, visit https://cleclergyalliance.org/.